International Student Representative Yuri Kim talks to us about why she chose to leave friends and family and travel to NZ and study at Diocesan.
For Year 13 student, Yuri Kim from Seoul in South Korea, it was the opportunity to revisit New Zealand and the encouragement of her family that helped her make the choice to move to Diocesan. Yuri had lived in New Zealand for two years when she was young, and had always wanted to return. She says she selected Dio for the strong support we wrap around our international students, from ESOL classes to helping students settle in quickly and meetings each term with the students to discuss any concerns or challenges and ways to help. “The main reason I chose Dio for my schooling was that Dio helps students to study in the best environment without any pressure and encourages all the students to be involved in school by providing and organizing various programs. Also I felt that Dio listens to the student’s voice and supports students to lead others” she says.
Yuri is involved in various committees, councils and clubs at School, and was elected Head of international students in 2016 at the beginning of the year. She says an increase in confidence, encouragement to achieve goals and leadership opportunities are all highlights of her time at Diocesan, as well as the opportunity to be involved in a wide variety of activities that would not be accessible in South Korea.
An only child, Yuri fist visited New Zealand as a child and stayed with her father who was attending an English language school. This time around, Yuri’s parents initially flew to New Zealand with her and then returned home once she started at Diocesan. Yuri said her parents were quite anxious sending her so far away from home and there were a lot of skype conversations to check she was alright. Once they saw how well she had settled in at Dio and was making lots of friends, they felt less worried.
In her first year at Dio, Yuri stayed with a homestay family “to experience New Zealand culture” but has since moved into Dio’s boarding house.
She says one of the biggest challenges was making Kiwi friends but the teaching style at Dio helped, with many group activities and projects and she now has a wide group of friends, both Kiwis and other international students. “I like how I can be friends with students who are from different cultural backgrounds, not only Kiwi friends but other international students as well. I’m learning their cultures as well and this helps me to widen my vision and think globally, which I would not be able to experience if I had stayed in Korea.”
Yuri is hoping to study medicine or biochemistry when she leaves school, and a move to yet another new country for her tertiary education is a definite option with universities in Australia and the UK, as well as Auckland University, all currently under consideration.